Possibly inspired by Fightin' Frankie Rodriguez, Johan Santana and the Mets dominated the Rockies in a tidy two hours and eighteen minutes this afternoon. Johan had his best start of the season -- complete game shutout, four hits (all singles), ten punch-outs and two walks. And it came against a potent Rockies lineup, including Carlos Gonzalez and Troy "Soda" Tulowitzki. I believe Frankie's perp walk took place just as Johan induced a game-ending 6-4-3 double play hit by Melvin Mora. Some other notes about Johan's performance today and in the second half:
- Of 115 total pitches, 79 were strikes (69%, compared to his season rate of 67%).
- He registered 14 swinging strikes (12.2%, compared to his season rate of 8.9%).
- He threw his changeup 40 times, which generated 11 of those swinging strikes.
- The Rockies' leadoff batter reached base in just one inning (the second, on a Tulo single).
- He never threw more than 17 pitches in an inning and needed just five to get through the ninth.
- In 67 innings since July 1, Johan has an excellent K:BB rate of 55:18. He has surrendered just two home runs in that span. Reports of Johan's demise may be premature. Continued dominance down the stretch would not only benefit the Mets' W-L column, but fans' confidence heading into 2011 and beyond.
Bottles of Santana's Select are now selling for the same price as Abreu's Finest:
One more start like this and maybe Johan's bottle will cost more than the one featuring a mildly popular (and ringzzz-less!) corner outfielder who hasn't played for New York in two years.
Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran led the offense. Jose went 2-4 with two stolen bases and induced a balk by Rockies starter Jason Hammel. Carlos hit for the Citi Field Cycle -- an infield single, an outfield single, a double and a sac fly (hat tip to MookieTheCat).
Today went about as well as anyone could have hoped. The Mets won a series -- go crazy, folks, go crazy. A three game set with the hated Philth starts tomorrow night at Citi Field. The starting pitchers are the esteemed R.A. Dickey and notorious pretty boy Cole Hamels.
Awesome Ralph Kiner quote of the game: "I think catching four knuckleballers and not committing suicide is reason enough to make the Hall of Fame" -- Ralph on Hall of Fame catcher Rick Ferrell
Poem by Howard Megdal
On day with Mets' closer in a different 'pen
Santana goes nine, bails Mets out again
SB Nation Coverage
* Traditional Recap
* Amazin' Avenue Gamethread
* Purple Row Gamethread
Win Probability Added
Big winners: Johan Santana +42.7% (as pitcher), Jose Reyes +7.5%
Big losers: Mike Hessman -5.7%, Fernando Martinez -5.1%
Teh aw3s0mest play: Angel Pagan RBI single +8.5%
Teh sux0rest play: Fernando Martinez pop-out -4.1%
Total pitcher WPA: +42.7%
Total batter WPA: +7.3%
GWRBI!: Angel Pagan
Game Thread Roll Call
Nice job by HELLYEAHGARYOAK; his effort in the game thread embiggens us all.
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